Expansion after the opening of the Elizabeth Ave. campus was not measured merely in programs, buildings and student numbers. New and exciting research programs reflected Memorial's continuing commitment to academic excellence, particularly in areas that related to the need and opportunities of this province.
As part of the university’s commitment to Newfoundland, the university established the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) in 1961 to examine relevant issues in the province. Under the direction of Ian Whitaker, Parzival Copes, and Robert Paine, ISER gained international renown for scholarly research and publishing. Today the institute supports comparative research. It undertakes, sponsors and publishes social and economic research within disciplines and parts of the globe that are relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Marine Science Research Laboratory
In 1967 the Marine Sciences Research Laboratory was established at Logy Bay. As part of Memorial University's mandate to foster greater collaboration in marine research and education programs, in 1988 the university merged the Marine Sciences Research Laboratory in Logy Bay with the Newfoundland Institute for Cold Ocean Science to form the Ocean Sciences Centre. This centre’s focus was to research the development of aquaculture to support commercial cultivation of mussels, scallops, arctic char, cod and salmon. Recently this site was designated as the Faculty of Science’s newest addition, the Department of Ocean Sciences.
To preserve and promote the natural history of this province, the university established the Botanical Garden at Oxen Pond within C.A Pippy Park. Since its opening in 1977, the garden has grown from one hectare of land to cover 44.5 hectares. The garden is open to the public, displaying plants native to the province and cultivating plants suitable to the local climate. The garden serves as a resource for basic and applied botanical research and education, particularly for studying the flora of Newfoundland and Labrador.
After the opening of the Elizabeth Ave. campus, the university saw a huge increase in enrolment, and library could no longer meet the needs of the academic body. Built to service 2,000 students in 1961, the library was hard-pressed to accommodate approximately 10,000 students nearly two decades later.
On July 27, 1978, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh presided over a ceremony to turn a sod, an event that marked the start of construction of the new library – named the Queen Elizabeth II Library in her honour.
Today, the library stands five stories high, filled with material to support the variety of disciplines taught at the university. It contains over 1,058,600 monographs, 93,900 maps, 13,600 audio-visual titles, and over 70,000 journal titles amounting to 303,500 journal and serial volumes. There are designated study areas on each floor. The library also houses the Centre for Newfoundland Studies and Archives, the Map Room, and The Commons – a high quality, learner-centered information service supporting research, learning, and writing within the university community, and access point for print, electronic and technology resources.